“To progress again, man must remake himself. And he cannot remake himself without suffering. For he is both the marble and the sculptor.”
Alexis Carrel, Man, The Unknown
Can you see yourself five years from now on? The fascinating fact is that many people don’t.
As Hal Hershfield put it, we think that we’re this one “self” over time. However, we should think of ourselves as a different person in the future - our “future self”.
We make sacrifices for other people because we care about them. Why don’t we make these sacrifices to ourselves? Because we don’t feel connected to that “future self.” It’s as if it doesn’t even exist. But by being able to connect, we can make better decisions about ourselves now. Decisions that our future self would greatly appreciate
We would eat better food, exercise, read, and do the thing that’s our thing to do in this world. We have to make those sacrifices today so that our future selves would benefit. I assume you do care about your future self. After all, it’s you - only in the future.
The sad truth is that for most people, the thoughts they have today, are the same thoughts they had yesterday, and last week and last month and five years ago. Do an honest audit of your life over the past five years.
A good way to start is to keep a journal where you write down the things you did and some of the thoughts you had that day. Do this every day. It will be quite amusing to read about yourself e.g., a year ago. It will also be a great indicator of whether you’re moving towards your goals or simply drifting like a leaf in the wind.
I want to address that Alexis Carrel’s quote here.
Here’s the thing - we’re afraid to change as change is indeed painful - or at least - quite uncomfortable. But realize that by not changing to become who you want to be, you’re inflicting pain upon yourself as well.
When that pain of staying in one place where you don’t belong reaches a critical mass, i.e., it becomes greater than the pain of taking action to change, then this is where many people make the decision to jump into the unknown and go all in.
If you start to see yourself in 5 years and freak out of the thought of being exactly in the same place (or worse), then suddenly, everything becomes real. It’s not some fuzzy imagination but an actual reality that will happen if you continue the same way.
It will be uncomfortable, but there’s no other way. It has to happen.